April 13, 2012 / 12:37 PM / in 5 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set to open lower on soft Chinese growth

April 13 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index looked set to open lower on Friday as commodity prices weakened after slower-than-expected growth data from China.

TOP STORIES

* China's economy grew at its slowest in nearly three years in the first three months of 2012, with a weaker than expected reading raising investor concerns that a five-quarter long slide has not bottomed and that more policy action would be needed to halt it.

* Former Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie sought to reinvent the BlackBerry smartphone maker with a radical shift in strategy before he stepped down, two sources with knowledge of his plans said.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co first-quarter profit fell 3 percent as recent recoveries in trading and deal-making failed to lift investment banking revenue to earlier levels. But results still beat Wall Street expectations.

* Exploration company Alderon Iron Ore Corp said on Friday it agreed to sell a stake in itself and its Kami iron ore project in eastern Canada to Chinese steel producer Hebei Iron & Steel Group [HEBEIH.UL} for C$194 million ($195.4 million).

MARKET SNAPSHOT

* Canada stock futures , down 0.45 percent, pointed to a lower open.

* U.S. stock index futures fell as concerns over Spain's rising borrowing costs resurfaced. Disappointing Chinese growth data also weighed. , ,

* European shares, were down

COMMODITY PRICE MOVES

* Thomson Reuters-Jeffries CRB Index : 305.44; down 0.06 percent

* Gold eased towards $1,670 an ounce on Friday, pausing in its biggest one-week rally since late February, as the dollar recovered lost ground against the euro.

* US Crude : $103.40; down 0.23 percent

* Brent Crude : $121.52; down 0.14 percent

* LME 3-month Copper : $8,122.5; down 0.11 percent

CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH

* Western Potash Corp. : The exploration company has been in talks with potential partners for the better part of the year and the company hopes to have a deal in place before the end of the year, a company executive said on Thursday.

* Sino-Forest Corp. : The forestry company has asked a Canadian court to extend a recently granted creditor protection order until July 9, arguing this would create certainty for potential buyers considering a bid for its forestry assets in China.

ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.

* Avalon Rare Metals : CIBC cuts price target to C$8.50 from C$9.30

* Celtic Exploration : NBF resumes with outperform; price target C$20; CIBC cuts price target to C$21.50 from C$23

* Cogeco Cable Inc. : CIBC cuts to sector performer from sector outperformer; Canaccord Genuity cuts to hold from buy

* Eldorado Gold Corp. : BMO raises to outperform; raises price target to C$20 from $18.50

* Goldgroup : Canaccord Genuity cuts price target to C$2 from C$2.60

* Ivanhoe Mines : Macquarie cuts target to C$23.50 from C$27, rating outperform

* Lake Shore Gold : Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$1.65, rating hold

* Taseko Mines Ltd. : CIBC cuts price target to C$5.80 from C$6; Canaccord Genuity cuts target to C$4.10 from C$4.50, rating buy

ON THE CALENDAR:

* No major Canadian economic data scheduled

* Major U.S. economic data includes consumer prices and U-Mich consumer sentiment index

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